The Swedish Embracer Group is back on a shopping spree. This time the group wants to loosen around 300 million US dollars for the extended arm of Square Enix's western games market. Specifically, this is the takeover of the studios behind Tomb Raider, Thief and Deus Ex, including the brands.
The Swedish Embracer Group is strengthening its position in the games market. The parent company behind companies such as Koch Media and THQ Nordic is driving its growth through acquisitions of Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal and Crystal Dynamics. The well-known studios are backed by strong brands, including the Tomb Raider, Thief and Deus Ex video game series.
300 million deal with Square Enix
The deal, worth around USD 1.100 million, includes eight branches worldwide and a total of around 300 employees. That sounds like a lot, but on closer inspection it is a bargain. All brands purchased are classics, well-known in the scene and often bestsellers in their genres. According to Embracer, the deal is to be settled through cash transactions, i.e. paid in full upon conclusion. The Swedish group expects the takeover to be completed in the second quarter of the financial year, i.e. in the period between July and September of this year.
Why all this? In a statement of its own, Square Enix said the deal would enable "the creation of new companies that will drive investments in areas like blockchain, AI and cloud." Square Enix is not giving up its core market of Japan, and the company's studios, which are also active abroad, will continue to publish games for brands such as Just Cause, Outriders and Life is Strange.
Phil Rogers, CEO of Square Enix America and Europe, commented, "Embracer is the best kept secret in gaming." It is a concentrated, decentralized collection of entrepreneurs. And: We are excited to be a part of it. Apparently, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors sees things similarly. The creative talent and track record behind the brands can also be seen in the studios that are now to be acquired.
It had already become apparent that something would change for Square Enix, especially in the western market segment. CEO Yosuke Matsuda stated that Japanese studios should not try to create gaming titles specifically aimed at western gamers.
Embracer consistently focuses on growth through acquisitions. In an interview with the Financial Times, Lars Wingefors stated that they intend to make several acquisitions in the coming years. However, there have also been many of these in the past: since 2020, the group based in Karlstad (Sweden) has made 62 acquisitions. The volume: around eight billion US dollars. 115 development studios belong to the group, plus the ten major operational groups, including THQ Nordic or Gearbox Software or Saber Interactive.
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